tv The Early Show CBS March 11, 2011 7:00am-9:00am PST
caption colorado firstname.lastname@example.org good morning, evacuations on the coast around the bay area this morning, due to that magnitude 8.9 earthquake in japan that sent a tsunami rushing across the pacific. >> hundreds of people are dead in japan after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. >> that tsunami was 23 feet, rushed over a large area near the epicenter in the northeastern coast of japan. the quake did just amazing damage, hundreds of miles away from tokyo. >> we are going right to lawrence karnow now. he has been really monitoring the storm. we expect it to hit closer to 8:00 this morning. are we still thinking that? >> we are still thinking a little bit after 8:00 but these times run certain. we have of course been watching some of of the areas like hawaii waiting for the waves to come across. these are some of the waves they experienced there. in honolulu they only had 2.2- foot tsunami but they are on
the protected side of the wave. 6-foot tsunami in hilo. locally we are expecting about 2 and 3.3 feet as the system begins to move onshore. now, remember, this is not your typical wave. it's not like a two or three- foot wave on the shore and that's it. we are talking about a surge of energy that's just screaming across the pacific at about 600 miles an hour. it's got all that energy and then when it makes its way to the coastline it's going to last between 5 and 15 minutes. expect the hit time in crescent city about 7:23, the golden gate roughly about 8:08. santa barbara 8:17. it's a good idea to move to hire ground if you can to be on the safe side. we have warnings from washington to eureka through san francisco and all the way down into point conception. some of of the low-lying areas locally they have started to
evacuate some places. i think you have to watch out for in places like ocean beach be very careful. there is a curiosity factor. people want to check out at the coastline folks but you don't get a second chance on these tsunamis. in the linda mar area of pacifica they have started to evacuate some spots. you have this nice bay right here, but that tends to focalize some of that energy from the tsunami as it comes onshore. there is a shallow sand berm here at the frontful valley if the wave does breach that sand berm you could see some flooding here in this area. so watch out along the coast in toward half moon bay and el granada. be careful, we have very a short time before this is likely to come ashore. that's the latest from here, guys. back to you. >> thank you, lawrence. we have a gentleman on the phone, rod, the deputy director of emergency services here in the bay area. rotted what can you tell us? i'm with the city of san francisco emergency department so i can't speak for any jurisdictions other than san
francisco but we are taking this very seriously and based on the data that we have serve with our conversations, we are looking at .7-meter rise in the sea level coming ashore around 8:00 this morning and coming ashored around low tide so we are looking at an impact as far as rise goes less than our average high tide. right now, that said, listening to your last speaker, it's correct in saying the characteristics of these waves are different. and as an abundance of caution we have closed actually we haven't but park service has in cooperation with us to close the beaches and most of the waterfront access and closed upper and lower great highway. we have done this to create a nice buffer zone between the public and the water. san franciscan residents and
business don't have to evacuate. we don't intend to ask for evacuation along our waterfront. >> we were saying earlier everyone is watching hawaii because that would give us some indication of what to expect. are you still doing that? >> hawaii. >> takes an impact. every mile this energy is in the water it continues it dissipate. we are not making this decision in the dark. we are working with the california emergency management agency and their tsunami program. we are confident that we have made the right decisions and we creating a buffer zone but otherwise, we are not overly concerned with the water coming far enough inland to impact residents. >> is it a stroke of luck that it's hitting at low tide? had it been high tide would this be a different story? >> it could be.
we don't know. i don't know what that scenario would look like because i have been dealing with the one at hand but i'm going to say that i'm happy for it and it's working in our favor. >> okay, rod dudgeon with the san francisco office emergency service, thank you very much. let's go anne makovec standing by on the great highway all morning. part still shut down this morning as we just heard as a precaution. good morning, anne. >> reporter: good morning, yeah, law enforcement stopping people before they get here to the great highway. i'm south of the cliff house restaurant right now and you can see the ocean behind me looking really rather calm. we are expecting this tsunami to hit. it began about 2 to 3 feet high at around 8 minutes after 8:00 this morning. the tsunami is imminent. but what kind of damage it's going to create, it's not looking like that's going to be very serious. coastal flooding, some issues on the beaches and low-lying areas, marinas and harbors. but the main problem is going to be just the repeated hitting of this surge of energy if that
does indeed materialize. we are expecting an initial surge and then a series of about 3 to 5 surges to follow. the good news is that the energy generally drops off when it gets inside the bay. that's why things here in san francisco are looking less serious than, say, down in pacifica, where we have been reporting from all morning, as well. but police keeping people away from the area. they are saying if you live in the sunset or richmond districts, which are very close to the coast here, you'ree fine. no need to evacuate, just stay off the beaches. police have been patrolling the great highway making sure no cars or pedestrians are getting in. we have seen a couple of stray joggers but generally very quiet. >> you would think two to three feet is not a big deal but stay
away. >> unlike the surfers at santa cruz that are sparking up for the big wave. anne makovec, in san francisco, thank you. just on the phone is our "eye on the bay" executive producer james reid stuck in a traffic jam this morning in san mateo. james, you didn't center to evacuate, right, this morning? you were just stuck in the backup? >> right. i was actually headed over highway 92 with another cameraman headed over to the coast and driving up and over 92, you know, normally you would see no one on the road. all these headlights started coming forth, i got to the top of 35 and 92 up at skyline boulevard, cars were just already here probably about 100. right now i'd say there's thousands of cars. i can see them all the way up the ridge. if people know this area, if you're turning south on highway 35 towards woodside, i can see
cars lining the ridge for as far as the eye can see. families out here with little kids and blankets as if they were just, you know, pulled out of bed. >> and folks are just sitting in their cars now just kind of riding out the storm so to speak? >> you have everything from people sitting in their cars with their engines running to most people now the sun came up are standing out huddled together families blankets all over them. interesting thing about right as the sun was coming up, there was about oh, i'd say 40 people holding hands, candle in the middle of the group, having a little prayer service. it was a really wild sight to see. >> wow. so obviously you have been talking to a lot of people just sitting in their cars off the side of the road. what are some of them saying? >> reporter: , you know, some people -- you know, it's amazing a lot of people were going to bed and saw it on the
news and had just basically been up since that time. as soon as they started saying the words tsunami on the news, these people were just glued to the tv. >> that will wake you up pretty quick, i bet, right? >> it did to a lot of people who -- some people have said, the sheriff's department had come by and sounds like el granada and moss beach and montera, just alerting residents and -- you can tell there's a lot of family out here because the phone tree really worked well. people were -- all family members were even in different households were coming up pretty quick. >> is there a sense of concern? some of these folks in low- lying areas, are they worried about their homes or is it just an adventure of the day? >> reporter: you know, at first, you know, when it was dark and it was a little more nerve-wracking when it's dark for a lot of people not knowing what to expect but now that the sun is coming up and people
have heard that at least word out here, you know, it wasn't that big in hawaii, they are not as worried. this is just -- looks like a big party out here and the amazing thing, i actually took off to go down toward half moon bay. it was kind of like that sight you would see on the east coast just nonstop jam-packed cars trying to flee hurricane. something that never happened to these people so quite a fun morning. >> are they letting cars back in pacifica now? do you want to go back down? >> reporter: all i know is when i headed -- i actually got all the way down highway 92 to highway 1 about 45 minutes ago, before i came back up here. the chp is now out on highway 1 and 92. i don't know what they were staging set up. but they were still letting cars go northbound on highway 1
towards pacifica. >> and how long -- they are waiting for this to hit, but folks, are they prepared to stay there until noontime, give or take? or what? >> well, you know, people have whatever food they can grab and plenty of blankets. i don't know who will make the announcements but there will be a big traffic jam getting back into half moon bay. >> everyone saying this is worse than the half moon bay pumpkin festival so they are in for quite a traffic jam later. >> and you know, several schools in the area have offered up shelters. has anyone talked about heading there? >> i did not talk to anybody about shelters out here no. it seems like most of the coast is up here high atop the highway 35. i don't know that anyone is down on the low-lying areas. >> james, i know they have an evacuation order down in the pacifica area. we are just getting word in the santa cruz area, too, an
evacuation advisory just to give folks a heads up in that area as well as this tsunami starts moving closer to the california coast. >> the chopper is overhead. i'm having trouble hearing. >> you thanks, james reid, "eye on the bay" producer. thank you for hanging in there. let's go to gianna franco. what's the latest on the commute and those possible bart closures? >> there is quite a bit going on this morning because of the evacuations. we are going to stick with these live pictures from chopper 5 for a few more minutes here. people are walking along the roadway there. you can see along 92, towards upper skyline and towards 35. this is causing a bit of a problem so chp has been on scene doing traffic control trying to make sure everyone stays out of the road and safely off to the side. we also got reports that chp is called out for air control in the area. also to help monitor the traffic situation through that area and as you heard from
james, things are very busy through there. and it is causing some major delays. if you don't need to go there, it's a great idea not to, avoid it if you can. on the maps, let's get the mass transit updates. muni will have shuttle buses in place as a precaution starting within the minute here at 7:15. the n-judah and l taraval lines will be switched at sunset so they are not allowing muni buses to head through the sunset area. this is near the great highway area where the closure is and, of course, we have been talking about bart all morning. they plan on making or it's possible they may close bart at some point this morning because the tsunami warning. there is no confirmation on that now. bart is still moving with no delays. i just checked in with bart. we have 56 trains running on time right now. of course, firefighter they do plan to shut down trains, we'll keep you updated. delays also highway 92, 35, we just showed you that in chopper 5 but it's affecting 280 also along the peninsula. if you are heading north on southbound side of 280 near the woodside area, trying to get
through san mateo county. things are very, very busy through there. highway 1 in pacifica is affected. the areas and schools in there have been shut down especially in the linda mar area. cabrillo, ortega, all those schools are closed. you will see delays on highway 1. folks are staging near roberts road, up in the higher parts of crespie in the back of the valley so you will see some extra busy conditions for folks through that area. evacuations in santa cruz is causing problems for highway 17 right at the summit. it's slower heavier than normal just approaching the summit and we heard from kcbs our radio partner that there is a lot of cars pulled over at the summit. it's filling up in the area for folks trying to get out of the area. give yourself some
extra time. it is friday light overall but there are some delays at the bay bridge toll plaza. we'll continue to watch this all morning long. back to you. >> thank you. we'll let gianna catch her breath. she has been busy this morning. we have been talking about possible bart closures. simon perez is at the lake merritt station. simon, i know we are coming up on the deadline, about 10 minutes, right, they said they would have some kind of decision? >> reporter: 10 minutes. they are going to wait and see what happens in crescent city. the tsunami is supposed to hit there around 7:23 and 10 feeders are cut off. if the waves are bigger than 10 feet when it gets to crescent city they will shut down the stations in the bay area. if it's less than 10 feet they probably won't have to and right now it's looking like they probably won't have to. bart said it may have to close to hopeful now that it won't. let's go over to the stations that what might happen one more time. bart thinks it might have to close the stations between west oakland and daly city. of course, between west oakland
and embarcadero because of the transbay tube under water but between embarcadero and daly city because they are underground. if something were to happen to the tube and water got into those underground stations, there's a lot of electricity there and that's just not a good mix. but once again, it does look like you are going to be able to make your commute. bart is saying that it does not expect the waves to be that big in crescent city and if it's less than 10 feet there, they are not going to close the station. so give us a few more minutes and we'll have the final update for you. 7:23 is when they will see what happens in crescent city and more than likely they won't have to close the bay area stations. >> we are hoping it doesn't happen. >> certainly looking like that simon because the waves that hit hawaii about an hour ago were i think the biggest was 5.7. so it looks like bart likely will stay open. we'll check in with you later. >> reporter: right. okay. yeah, that's good. 7:23 is the cutoff time. we'll be here. >> simon perez live in oakland, thank you. >> and we'll be right back. ,,,,
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people in the linda mar area of pacifica evacuating to the east of adobe drive it is 7:19. on the phone, pete franco. we spoke you, i guess you grabbed your amps, guitars, kids, packed it up and got the heck out of pacifica. how are you doing now? >> reporter: i'm doing good. i'm doing good. you know, kind of nerve- wracking waiting to see, you know, what's going to happen in the next hour.
i can tell you that. >> tell us where you are right now. are you up on the hill with the -- all the other evacuees? or have you moved down to the other side? >> actually, i went to work. so i'm at the stanford linear accelerator right now. >> now, are you nervous about what may hit? i know your home, talking to your wife, our traffic gal, gianna, you're right in that low level zone there in pacifica. are you worried about your house? >> absolutely. this is nerve-wracking waiting to see, you know, if, you know, the house is going to be okay, you know, tonight when i come home. you know, that's the reality of our day. >> and gianna said that all your instruments you put them all on tables to make sure because you're in a band. >> yeah. [ laughter ] >> absolutely. yeah. actually i put them on top of the kids' bunk bed. that was the highest spot i could find in the house. >> the good news is, it's low tide so that is great news. so have you ever had flooding
problems at all in that area? >> actually we lived in the flood zone. so i think back in the early '80s during the el nino, the neighborhood actually flooded at one time. >> she was able to let him know to get out of dodge quickly so he avoided some of that mess on highway 92. >> absolutely. >> was it kind of scary when you were first told to evacuate? were people kind of nervous in your neighborhood? >> absolutely. i'm getting, you know, text messages and phone calls from my neighbors, you know, who are actually leaving right now. you know, and actually, one neighbor's just hanging out waiting for the waves. so i told him to get out of town. [ laughter ] >> there's a lot of that going on. how long did it take you to get up and over the hill? was it -- last time we talked to you, you were stuck in traffic. >> it took me about 40 minutes to get actually through 92 to
millbrae and 280. >> and you're glad to be at work at stanford right now? >> absolutely, yeah. but anxiously awaiting to see what happens, you know, in the next hour. >> all right. hopefully you will come home to a dry and safe home. all right, thank you, pete, so much for joining us over the phone with us this morning. >> okay, pete. thank you. >> yeah, thank you. >> all righty. well, several flights out of the bay area to japan have been affected. delta flight 59 has been cancelled. united flight 837 has been diverted. and ana flight to narita has been cancelled. >> we have been on the phone with sfo all morning. flights from japan to sfo also affected, united flight 838, narita to sfo that's cancelled. and again, just one more time, nh8 narita to sfo has also been cancelled. >> if you got loved ones coming from japan, one flight got out that was en route but no
flights going into tokyo at this hour. let's go to lawrence now and get the latest on the tsunami as we wait. >> we are waiting patiently now. of course, we have already seen it sweep across the hawaiian old and we had a 2.2-foot tsunami in honolulu not that big but almost 6 feet into maui, and, of course, this part of island facing really the earthquake zone. and then you get hilo a 3.4 feet so it's sweeping across. just about as projected between 5 to 6 feet in the hawaiian islands. locally it's not expected to be as big but it's just about to move onshore. as a matter of fact, crescent city hit time is at 7:23 right now. of course, these times can vary a little bit. golden gate 8:08 is when we are expecting that to possibly hit and santa barbara just after 8:00, as well. high possibly 2 to 3.3 feet. the good news is as mentioned earlier that, you know, this is coming onshore during the low tide and really the low tide of the day .7 feet so that's good news, still it can
be very dangerous so that's why tsunami warnings have been issued along the california coastline into washington extending down through ear ricca, san francisco bay and point conception. some of the places we are watching very closely like ocean beach, many homes lined april long there, a lot of folks like to get out there and see what's going on. really folks, curiosity factor ca kill ya. it can be devastating as these waves pound the shore. we are looking at linda mar. they have evacuated this part. you heard our speaker early on, they have evacuated this area below sea level. it's part of an estuary. you could see some flooding here. half moon bay area, el granada, lower lying areas, evacuation advisory in toward the santa cruz area as we are expecting the waves to be a little bit larger in this area. again, this is all going to take place within the next hour or so. and it's going to last between
about 5 to 15 minutes and these waves it's not your typical wave, 2 to 3 feet but it's going to be the surge of energy moving onshore coming across this pacific and get this at about 600 miles an hour. that's a lot of energy and cap do a lot of damage. back to you guys. >> thank you. >> lawrence, it's interesting. just lasts about 5 to 15 minutes, does it happen suddenly? >> you will see the wave beginning to come onshore but that's not the end of it. it's all that energy, all that water has been displaced by that earthquake. really an 8.9, that's just a phenomenal earthquake. it has lifted that up water in the ocean and spread it out across the pacific and it just comes surging all the way across the pacific in our way. so that energy has to go somewhere and as you approach the coastline it starts to run into the very shallow waters. and so that start to give some of lift to the moisture and moves it onshore and you will see wave after wave. what you will see is you will see that initial wave begin to make its way onshore. you will probably see that
water recede. don't go out toward the water then, folks. that's when we'll likely see another surge of that moisture and that's the when a lot of people of get killed from tsunamis. they think hey this is neat i have never seen the water out this far and they go out to check it out and the next wave gets them. >> it just keeps coming t lose a little steam going the thousands of miles from hawaii to here, though, does it not? >> it attenuates and disperses when it goes across the pacific. that's why the projections for hawaii are larger than here. as you watch in japan, of course, they had a much larger tsunami there. so not as big here but still dangerous. this is something we don't see very often. it's beautiful on coast but you have to be aware of tsunamis. >> well, let's go to pacifica now. she is headed to higher ground and she is smart because of that. she was on the beach. she is up a little bit higher. christin ayers live in pacifica now. good morning. >> reporter: good morning,
frank. we did go ahead and move our live truck up to highwayer ground. ware now overlooking highway 1 and you can kind of get a broad panoramic view here of what the waves are looking like at this point. this is the area that was evacuated earlier today. and you can kind of see the waves at low tide right now. not seeing any really severe activity at this time but you can see that the beaches are completely cleared out. earlier today we saw law enforcement combing the beaches going up and down trying to make sure there was no one in this area whatsoever. and as you can see, people have clearly heeded the warnings and evacuated these areas and they seem to be staying away from the coast itself. in fact, a lot of people are actually up where we are on this ridge overlooking highway 1. people have parked their cars all along this area to try and just if we turn our camera around there you can see people just sitting and just kind of hanging out taking a look at what's going on here. a lot -- dozens of cars out here parked and some of these
people are evacuees, some are just heard that there was a tsunami warning and they say this is the place to go to kind of see just how bad the waves are going to be. as i said you have a bird's-eye view up here and many residents out here just watching as waiting. meantime, for those who have been evacuated, there have been some shelters set up so we can look at what those are. terra nova high school, other thannian huh high school, farrallone view elementary school and pescadero high school and oceana high school. those are the places to go to if you're evacuated. several parts of linda mar all evacuated at this hour. there are signs posted around town telling people what the evacuation route is. so you will want to heed those and definitely if you don't have anywhere else to go, those high schools will be serving as shelters for the remainder of the day. we are assuming here. but again, you know, the beach completely cleared out and all of the action really is on higher ground where people have
gathered to kind of see what unfolds here. frank? >> it's kind of like stadium seats. you guys are high above waiting for the waves to come in. >> reporter: absolutely. >> christin ayers, thank you. we are going to toss to break but we'll have much more coming up. stay with us. try our new, fresh salmon at sizzler.
[ female announcer ] served with your choice of side dish. all for only $12.99. and get our endless salad bar for just $2.99. sizzler. thinking fresh. everyday. welcome back, everybody. we continue to follow that devastating earthquake that rocked japan today their time 2:46. it hit last night our time 9:46. hundreds of people are dead.
hundreds of people are missing. it just is complete devastation over there. and it's causing some issues for us as well with the tsunami warnings. >> that's right. the very latest right now, japanese police say two to 300 bodies have been found in the area where that 8.9 earthquake spawned the tsunami. 88 other people are dead. that number is examined to rise. and some 350 people are missing right now. the japanese coast guard is also searching for a boat that was washed away by the tsunami with 88 people on board. se swept boats, cars and buildings... miles from the coast. -sendai has a populatio >> the earthquake unleashed a 13-foot tsunami. you're looking at some of the video. >> incredible pictures. it almost looks like lava that was just tearing apart, you know, cities and farms and this is the aftermath right here. you can see the devastation, you know, beautiful homes that are now, you know, 10 feet under water in some areas. choppers going over.
and right now we -- 300 to 400 people dead but it could go into the thousands. it's just devastated. it's paralyzed the country of japan and look at these actual cars going over like a waterfall in a major city here. you can see a boat right there as well crashing into a -- what looks like a highway overpass. it's just amazing, amazing video coming up, sendai the city that got hit the hardest. that's in the northeastern portion of japan. it's about 250 miles to the northeast of tokyo where the epicenter was off the coast. that city is -- it's a major city, over a million people live there. the airports have been devastated. flights to japan most of which have all been cancelled, no flights getting out at this point. flights cancelled at japan. this is the worst earthquake in
their history striking around 2:45 their time. >> an 8.9 earthquake is huge. these are waves sweeping over an airport in sendai where planes used to land this. water is now just engulfing, encroaching like -- like i said, it almost looks like molten lava just destroying everything in its past. unbelievable day and -- >> refineries, as well. - three nuclear reactors have been shut down - but there are reports of a fire at one of those plants. - several of the country's major liquefied gentleman here's video of an oil refinery. the explosion was after midnight our time and we understand that three nuclear reactors have been shut down and fire at one of those plants. >> we understand there's been no leakage at all from there.
there have been warnings on the coast of indonesia where they had an tsunami in sumatra back in 2005 right after christmas. as high as russia, alaska, all the way down to the chilean coast as we expect to see those waves hit us within the hour. >> right. and we about 4:15 this morning we heard about evacuations in linda mar and pacifica. for the latest on the commute let's go to gianna franco. is chopper 5 still over the scene? >> actually they went and landed to get some gas but they will be back up in a few minutes. they were showing us incredible pictures of the area where we are seeing a lot of congestion due to the evacuations. major delays right now still reported along 92 and 35. this is in the eastbound direction. i checked in with our radio partners, kcbs, and a two-mile backup through the area. there are pedestrians walking on the road. people have parked to the side of the road once they got to higher ground. chp is on scene with traffic
control and have air support as well trying to keep things smooth in the area. really backed up for folks trying to evacuate out of el granada, once you get over to 92 it's doing a number on 280, as well. some delays when folks get out of the area and heading to 280. we are seeing delays there, as well. so that is causing quite a bit of a backup there. of course, the evacuation area as well in the linda mar area, pacifica, highway 1, we are seeing lots of cars through there but looks like things are running smoothly. i just checked in with chp, they have not shut 1. folks are trying to get out of the lower area of linda mar. people are parked on the roads along roberts, crespie, peralta, linda mar boulevard, all those areas possibly affected so avoid it if you can. expect some busy conditions out of that area. use caution, take it slow and easy this morning. the great highway is shut down
between point lobos and lake merced as a precaution. we have had anne makovec live there on the scene getting us updates. again, this area will be shut down for of the morning, possibly into the midday -- for most of the morning possibly into the midday depending on the impact of the tsunami. highway 17 near the summit we have delays also. there is warnings and evacuations in the santa cruz area. so we are seeing busy conditions on 17 near the summit. and i did get word that a lot of folks also parking along of the side of the road once they get to the top of the hill there to avoid these problems but that area is filling up and causing some busy traffic conditions in the portion. now, we are also seeing some delays as a result from these evacuations and closures along muni, vallejo, bailing ferry no service, muni shuttle buses in place as a precaution. the n-judah and
l taraval lines are delayed. our major delays are along 92 and 35 so if you don't need to help there, you know, don't need to go out there check it out anyway, things are really busy through that portion on the eastbound side. we'll keep our eye on that and, of course, on the linda mar area, as well. >> there are a lot of people up on the hilled. >> gianna and her husband were evacuated as well as ken, we understand he joins us over the phone. hey, ken. so you live in pacifica. you were one of these that good word this morning? >> exactly. yup. i'm actually first up on the hill on roberts road right now on highway 1 and traffic seems to be [ indiscernible ] [ [ signal breakup ] ] >> it looks like caltrain has shut down southbound... at linda mar boulevard. >> go ahead. >> everything looks like it's moving smoothly now. so it's all is good. we were advised we had a text message this morning about 3
a.m. from a friend of ours who works for hillsborough police department letting us know that our area was on tsunami watch so got up and started checking the news and seeing what was going on and then we got the phone call at 4:30 from the county alert system to let us know this we should start evacuating. >> what's that like? do you have kids? did you just say, all right, let's go? >> yeah. no,... wife and two kids. we got them up around, you know, 5:00 or so and started gathering up belongings inside the house, made sure we unplugged stuff in case water goes in the house because i'm right on desolo so it's -- we are in a low-lying area there. so it's one of those areas that if the water comes in it will probably hit us. so got everything unplugged, grabbed the personal belongings and effects that might be damaged by water, moved stuff up higher. >> did you and your neighbors have some idea that this could happen last night when you first heard about the earthquake and tsunami? >> well, last night when i was watching the news at 11:00, they basically said that we weren't going to be affected by
it. but i still had that thought in my mind that, you know, anything can change. and sure enough when we got that message at 3:00 this morning, it makes everything come to life and realize, you know, that these things can happen will happen you have to be ready. >> ken, describe the scene up there now. are your kids relaxing in the car or what is going on? >> i'm actually about, as the crow flies, probably 200 yards from one of your guy's vans parked down the road from me. parking is just about out of places to park. it's limited. quite a few people, a lot of cameras, binoculars, people standing around watching, talking and, you know, everything seems pretty calm. no one is panicking. so it's going smooth. >> is there a big crowd around with you? we have been watching chopper 5 video from earlier of just people hanging out in their cars, you know, eating breakfast talking with each other. >> yeah. that's pretty much what's going
on here. i mean, it's nowheres near what the traffic looks like up on 92 and 35. you know? i mean, people are parked up here and getting out and watching and basically everyone in our neighbor knows one another so it's like a big get- together on the hill waiting it out to see what's going to happen. >> if someone mass a coffee cart, he is probably making a million dollars. >> if there was one here, he would be making a fortune and it's chilly and breezy. one of the things that's a concern for me is high tide going to play a role? i'm now, if it's going in or out on the tides. you guys know, if you let people know. >> we are going to lawrence. lawrence, are you there by the weather center? >> yes. actually, we are fortunate that we are looking at a low tide of .7 feet so in that regard, we are somewhat lucky. sometimes we get those tides that are 6 and 7 feet but this
one is coinciding to the lowest tide of the day. waves will be 2 to 3 feet around the bay area. and it looks like things are going to stay -- well, this surge is expected to continue. already hit crescent city. we are waiting for an update on that to see what happened there. the golden gate we are expecting just after 8:00 and times later further south but we are still watching in closely. it doesn't sound like a lot 2 to 3 feet as far as a tsunami is concerned. doesn't sound like a gigantic wave but it's all that energy that is surging onshore all at once. it's the width of the energy that's basically zoomed across the pacific at about 600 miles an hour. so we have warnings in effect all the way from washington down through eureka into san francisco continuing to point conception for today. so we are watching all those low-lying areas. be very, very careful. don't go out to the water's edge to watch us. stay at a safe distance away from the waters today.
we are looking toward ocean beach. you want to stay away from that area. of course down toward linda mar valley you have heard some evacuations there. and it looks like you want to stay -- they are sitting here on the mountains. the person we had on the phone they were on the mountains above the water a safe vantage point away from there. they are evacuating down to santa cruz. be careful at the coast. we think this thing is going to come in and going to be okay but to be safe, stay away from the water today. back to you. >> good advice. we were talking to ken lipke. he is evacuated on the hill. let's go to john blackstone at the great highway which has been closed and it looks like he is on ocean beach. what's the latest? >> reporter: people seem to be taking the advice that they shouldn't stay close to the ocean today. the great highway is closed. the california highway patrol, san francisco police have
closed the road. there's a few people who have been brave fluff to come out to the beach this morning and not very -- brave enough to come out to the beach this morning and not very many. usually there are far more people than this at ocean beach but people are taking the advice that some big waves could come in here. now, as we heard, this is expected to hit at low tide. you can see the beach is pretty wide right now. the tide is going out. the tsunami waves are expected to come in at about the same time as we are at the lowest point of that tide. we are expecting it to be moderate. at the same time, i planned to be down behind the seawall not down in the sand just in case. >> john, we are just receiving some news that the first wave has hit the coast of california up in northern california. but right now it looks calm where you are. >> it looks eerily quiet. >> reporter: indeed. indeed. there's waves coming in. but the tsunami waves as best as we can tell haven't got here yet. they are expected to arrive a
little after 8:00 i think at this point on ocean beach. we'll see if there is a difference. there are steady rollers coming in but nothing major. >> now, are they keeping people off the beach? because i'm surprised, there's nobody behind you and i don't know if you can see, people are heeding the advice to stay away, right? >> reporter: indeed they are. they are -- you know, this is a good sign, i think, that people haven't come down here. i was down here once before some years ago when there was a tsunami warning and there were a large number of people who came down to see what was happening or actually down in the sand. it seemed kind of dangerous. today there aren't many people here. there are -- the few people, we don't see any surfers hoping to catch the tsunami waves. that's a good thing. the other thing is, you know, when those of house live here in earthquake country hear about a quake of the size that hit japan, i mean, this is sobering for us. i mean, i think for a lot of people in san francisco, they
are taking this quite seriously. this is a really big quake. the figures i heard this morning is that this was 3,000 times more powerful than the northridge quake? i mean, you know, many times more powerful than anything we have ever felt here. >> people don't understand when it goes up a decimal it's going up so much more than just that .1. it's incredible. and the death toll continues to rise in japan. john blackstone, hey, we thank you very much for your report. hopefully, everyone will be safe and sound there at ocean beach. >> reporter: we'll keep our eye on it. >> thank you, john. great highway as you saw just kind of abandoned out there. let's go to christin ayers where we understand she has gotten to higher ground now but i guess people -- there's a lot of looky-loos where you are watching the waves, huh, christin? >> reporter: absolutely. a lot of rubberneckers out here this morning just kind of taking in the view. if you take a look you can see
that people have gathered out here and people with cameras, binoculars, people waving at the camera even. just out here to kind of take in the sights and see what's going on. >> it's low tide and you can see how empty the beach is. it's completely clear at this point. we can't see one person out here. people certainly heeding the warnings and staying away from those lower coastal areas which could be -- see the water sort of sweeping in as if it was high tide if those two to three- foot waves really materialize out here. >> this area was evacuated earlier parts of linda mar here in pacifica evacuated. people receiving automated phone calls to notify them. you can see which areas have
been designated as evacuation shelters. four schools total have been designated evacuation shelters. terra nova high school, oceana high school, farrallone view elementary school, and pescadero high school. that's where authorities are telling people to go if they have nowhere else to go and have been evacuated from certain areas. again, people are also coming to this overlook here on this hill. this is a place to hang out, cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, take out your binoculars and take a picture if you want it. you could say this is sort of serving as an evacuation of shelter of sorts at this time. back to you guys. >> certainly got the best view in pacifica there , huh? >> reporter: it's an absolutely gorgeous view up here. it really -- if we are to see any activity, we'll certainly see it here. >> you know, christin, there was so much anxiety earlier this morning but i guess since there was they major damage in hawaii, the mood has obviously changed quite a bit. >> reporter: absolutely. definitely some anxiety earlier on. i talked to a couple of people
here who either were evacuated or who came up this way because they have relatives who were evacuated. and because we're on much higher ground, this is an area where people can feel safe and also take in a beautiful view, if nothing does happen. and if something actually does happen and we start to see some waves coming in it's an area where people feel relatively safe. so certainly good to see people listening to authorities, staying away from the beaches and taking shelter on higher ground. >> all right, christin ayers live for us this morning in pacifica. thank you. well, we want to let you know as well that we are hearing about big delays getting out of the santa cruz mountains where they recently issued another evacuation advisory there. >> an advisory there and people heeding that advice leaving santa cruz now and a lot of folks of course have left pacifica because they live in low-lying areas. with more on that situation, let's kick it over to gianna with traffic. >> good morning. one thing i want to say about pacifica is that if you're walking along the beach there are signs in the tsunami evacuation area or route. so it's interesting. i wonder if that will ever
happen? it did today. back to highway 17 near the summit, you can see lot of yellow and red on the sensors, lots of folks -- we are getting reports of just hundreds and hundreds of cars flooding highway 17 right now as folks pay attention to these evacuations warnings trying to get out of the santa cruz area. northbound 17 really jammed up at the summit. kcbs says they are seeing major delays through the area. roads in the beach flats of santa cruz are also closed near the boardwalk near the wharf. beech street, riverside, all that area is shut down right now and again for all these folks trying to evacuate out of the santa cruz area, it is really causing a lot of problems here on highway 17 as you can see on our maps near the summit. lots of delays and again lots of folks pulled over to the side of the road casting you a problem. parking lots at the summit are completely full. now, we have also been keeping our eye on the area near 92 and
35. this is for folks evacuating out of el granada, half moon bay area. we have seen a line of cars eastbound 92. at last check the backup was two miles long. chp is providing traffic control. we have had chopper 5 over the scene showing us live picture. very busy. pedestrians on the road are causing problems because folks are trying to get to higher ground or maybe towards 280. a delay on 280 once folks get past this area. so we are asking people to avoid 92 and 35 eastbound if you can. it is causing some major problems through that area. now, we just saw a live shot moments ago from pacifica. doesn't look like it's impacted as far as traffic goes. highway 1 still quiet. i just checked in with chp, waiting to hear if they are making an official closure there on highway 1 near linda mar. but, of course, the streets
near desolo, crespie, linda mar boulevard, that whole portion of the bottom of the valley there has been affected by the evacuations so we have seen a lot of busy conditions, a lot of folks getting out of their homes to get to higher ground. a lot of people are parked at roberts road. also vassler you can have a nice view of the ocean. so avoid highway 1. word of schools closed in the pacifica area. so that will affect ortega, cabrillo, terra nova. great highway is shut down and remains closed this morning. they were saying probably until the midday hours at least. maybe by noon depending on what the impact is of this. this is also going to affect your mass transit ride this morning. they have shuttle buses in
place near sunset. n-judah and l taraval, shuttle buses in place. no delays on ace and caltrain, as well as muni. we have some 56 trains running on time with bart. there was a possible chance that they may have closed bart because of the tsunami warning but so far, things are looking good through that area so that's good news for that portion. back to you. >> thank you. >> very good news for the commuters. >> we haven't gotten official word from bart. i guess the deadline was about a half hour ago. they were watching the waves in crescent city if they were higher than 10 feet they would shut 2 down. >> according to shut it down. trent cross joins us from the highway patrol. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. how are you? >> we are doing okay. how are you doing? you guys i would imagine have been fairly busy today? >> yes.
we are a little busy this morning. right now, over near state route 1, at capistrano, there's going to be a road closure for safety reasons which is located south of half moon bay airport. right now, we have units conducting traffic control near state route 92 at 35 due to the evacuations and which we also have additional units assisting the local law enforcement because there's approximately 2800 homes that need to be evacuated so we are assisting them with that. then we also have air support in the area just to overlook everything and see how traffic conditions are and see if there is any other hazards or problems that we may need to address. >> sounds like your still issuing new road closures because we are looking at video near highway 92 in san mateo bridge taken from chopper 5 a little earlier. but we were hoping that things might be getting better but it sounds like new closures on the way. >> yeah. when you are dealing with this type of situation, our top priority is going to be public
safety and so we would rather conduct some road closures instead of having someone being seriously injured or killed and so we are just asking for people to be patient. it's probably a good idea to check the internet or watch the news before you take off for your destination to see where these road closures and things are taking place but for us, our top priority is public safety and just ensuring that no one gets hurt in this type of situation. >> we are looking at live shots now of ocean beach south of the cliff house and we can see chp is monitoring that situation. have you had any problems whatsoever today with folks maybe getting a little too curious perhaps? >> reporter: you know, we haven't had anyone real overzealous. once we are able to explain to them the situation and that their safety could be in jeopardy or compromised, if they don't get out of the area, then most people are extremely compliant because no one wants to get hurt and so, so far people have been very cooperative. they understand the situation and the severity of the
incident in which we're dealing with. so we just want to let people know that you don't want to be a looky-loo or try to observe an area. it's best to evacuate and stay away from the situation. >> so trent, where are we seeing the worst congestion now? where are the slow spots? >> well, looks like state route 92 at 35, and like i said before, i think part of it is due to the evacuations and that's why we have increased our presence in the area, because we want to ensure that traffic flows through there smoothly. but we have noticed it's very congested and we really want to keep that area as open as possible just in case of an emergency. so if emergency personnel need to get through there, they can -- we can get through and offer assistance to people. >> so once the tsunami hits our shores, an hour or two later, hopefully there's no problems with that, it will get back to normal we hope, i would imagine, right, for you guys?
>> yeah. that's the plan. once things kind of blow over and, you know, this passes through and hopefully not too much damage or it's not too severe, then we'll definitely get the roads opened back up and get things back to normal. but, you know, like i mentioned before, top priority is public safety. and making sure no one gets hurt. so there are going to be some closures and we ask people to be patient and take alternate routes. >> thank you, trent cross from the chp. thank you very much. >> have a great day. >> you, too we have been talking about the evacuations orders in the bay area. they are also in effect farther south. portions of santa cruz county issued evacuation advisories there and we have john freeman on the phone. we understand you live on the beach in monterey and just got the call to evacuate. hi, john. thanks for joining us this morning. >> it's my pleasure. >> i guess living on the beach is great but comes with some problems sometimes. what's it like down in monterey
right now? >> it's very calm and i should be clear, i don't live on the beach, i live about 2 long blocks from the beach here in north monterey. there doesn't seem to be very much concern right now. we did receive a reverse 911 call just about an hour ago. and i'll play you just a little piece of that right now if i can. are you ready? >> sure, go for it. >> off the beaches today, friday march 11, 2011, from 7:30 a.m. until cleared by local officials. there are no evacuation orders issued at this time. but the beaches are closed. unpredictable ocean conditions will occur including extremely dangerous currents and higher waves up to two feet. these conditions will affect -- >> so that is about the most important information that everybody in this area has received is that there is no evacuation order in effect right now in monterey. from what i have been able to ascertain, there is a
recommendation that some people in lower lying areas of santa cruz, north of us, may want to leave what is called inundation areas. this is -- these are areas that have been predescribed that could experience flooding. i don't believe that there is a predescribed area like that where i live. so there's really no concern on the ground, but, you know, as the chp officer you just spoke to alluded to, this is uncharted territory for a lot of people living near the coast and i'm sure there are people, some of my neighbors in fact, who have decided in fact just to probably pack things up and get to higher ground maybe for a couple of hours and sort of ride out the storm as it were. >> so you have never experienced anything like this i would imagine, right? >> four, five years ago, off the coast of crescent scene,
where they did in fact order a tsunami watch or warning, so i have been down this road before. that amounted into nothing in fact. it did create quite a bit of concern, but nothing actually ever materialized on the beaches. this is a little bit different in that we are actually expecting to perhaps see a small swell. the good news though again as i'm sure you have alluded to by now is that this is occurring as low tide is approaching. i believe low tide is scheduled here for some time in the 9:00 hour. so the water is very low as it is. so there's really not much that an additional even two to three- foot surge could do to us. >> all right, john freeman, he is live via telephone down in monterey bay area. please be safe and thanks so much for your insight, john. we appreciate it. >> have a good day. >> you, too.
>> chopper 5 video there. beautiful but the ocean can be difficult as well as we await the tsunami which is supposed to hit our shores here somewhere in the bay area sometime within the next half hour. >> right. portions of the great highway still closed. let's go out to courtney dempsey live at the emergency management agency in sacramento county. >> reporter: they are keeping an eye on the situation. right now california under a warning. it's the strongest of the advisories that they can issue for a tsunami and that just basically means that an inundating wave is possible and full evacuations are suggested for the coast and low-lying areas. the biggest areas of concern have been crescent city and also specific warnings for several county out there, north coast, the biggest concern obviously in humboldt county, del norte, san mateo, monterey and san luis obispo counties
all being under this huge advisory that they have let out. the agencies again are evacuating these places. they have agencies like chp patrolling the highways, as we have seen with the great highway that's been closed and shut down, of course lots of people thinking about going to the beaches to kind of watch those waves but it sounds like they are taking heed to those warnings not to do so because obviously they cannot out run water that may hit. now, these waves that hit kauai earlier this morning were expected to be a lot higher than they ended up being. so that was kind of good news as far as california is concerned because as the waves physically -- the wait it will work out as the waves dissipate further south they get smaller so areas like san francisco, presumably, would not be hit as hard as further north. so that's the hope it will stay here and ema here in mather and sacramento counties are keeping an eye on things as a warning. they are staying on guard and staying in touch with the agencies they are working with throughout the state of california to keep everybody on
their toes and hope that the worst doesn't happen. >> okay. courtney, you know, this is 8:00 now. this is when the first big waves were supposed to hit but no word on anything really happening at this point, right? >> reporter: right. basically no word on what's happening. we are watching the waters to see what happened. cresting crescent scene is the big area of concern. >> thank you, courtney dempsey. lawrence karnow? >> this is that time now. it's getting close. we have been talking about the system making its way onshore and the tsunami we are awaiting it right now. what we'll likely see at the water's edge at the coastline, ocean beach, we are likely going to see the water recede before it surges back onshore. how big it will be is in question. the forecast is 2- to 3-foot tsunami here in the bay area. they expect the arrival time is just after 8:00. 8:08 at the golden gate.
now, these times can vary a little built. remember, these are just forecasts but in santa barbara about 8:17. the folks that have moved to higher ground that's goo news. we are watching the low-lying areas especially at the coastline. we have a warning in effect all the way from washington down through eureka, san francisco, and also toward point conception. it's coming on as a series of waves. it's been screaming across the pacific at 600 miles an hour. we are watching towards ocean beach stay away from the coastline there. also, they have evacuated part of the front area of the linda mar valley in this area. there is a small sand berm right out in front. but if it does get breached somehow we don't think that it will but if it does you could see flooding in some homes. also we are watching in toward the half moon bay area and also toward el granada where they don't have much beach protection there so the possibility of some low lying flood something real.
also into the santa cruz area, they have had some advisories for some evacuations there just to be on the safe side. now, not expecting a huge wave but just to be safe, folks, you have to be prepared. we don't see these very often. but when we do, you have to move and you have to move in a hurry. we are now just a few minutes away for that tsunami to move onshore. that's the latest. back to you. >> coming to crunch time. thank you, lawrence. we are going to toss to break. we'll have much more coming up. ,,,,,,
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welcome back. well, you're taking a live look right now at ocean beach in san francisco. we're still just kind of waiting here right now. lawrence telling us the first real waves are expected to hit in just a couple of minutes from now 8:08. so we are continuing to monitor the situation along the coastline. in the meantime, want to give you the latest from japan. japanese police say two to three hundred bodies have been found in the area where that 8.9 earthquake spawned the tsunami. at least 88 others are dead. that number is expected to rise. some 350 people are missing right now. the japanese coast guard is also searching for a boat that got washed away by the tsunami with 88 people on board. >> and as you can see, this
video is just devastating japan. completely paralyzed right now. the epicenter of this was up in the northeastern portion of the country about 250 miles northeast of tokyo. it was centered off the coast off the city of sendai which has over a million-plus people. it's a huge city. a lot of agriculture and a lot of that land has just been -- just punished and as you can see, homes are under, you know, 10 feet of water. it's just a mess there. boats were swept, cars were swept, buildings knocked down. and the city of sendai is in rough shape. some pretty graphic video here. as you can see, that's a boat right there. and it going to hit that freeway overramp and get torn apart. cars are going down like pebbles in a stream through this massive rush of water that lawrence has talked about. when it hits us, obviously, it's going to be much smaller. but near the epicenter, so much
energy in this water and it keeps pulsing and coming. >> incredible video. all japanese ports are closed and discharging operations halted. we have some aerial footage of the some of the airports, obviously shut down in japan. >> look at the planes still intact right there. sfo had about a half dozen flights cancelled today going into a couple of cities in japan. no flights are getting out right now. the tokyo airport is -- certainly doesn't look like this. this is sendai where the epicenter was. but just as i mentioned, transportation, some communication completely paralyzed there. over 300 to 400 people have been confirmed dead. but they continue to find bodies and that number obviously is going to go way up. >> all right. here's some close-up video of an airport... yeah.
>> i mean, look at that. >> yeah. >> it just takes your breath away to see that. there is nothing you can do. it's just... eating up the land there like -- like lava coming out of a volcano there. that's an airport. that he was the sendai airport that i -- that's the sendai airport that i presume would be a runway. there are some of the cars, trucks, buses. >> that's the tarmac of the airport. and just complete devastation there right now. unbelievable. >> just muddy water flowing through the city. also sparking a huge inferno. check this out. this is a fire one of many up and down the japan coastline. this is at an oil refinery. and there was an explosion here and it happened just after midnight we understand our time. three nuclear reactors have also been shut down. there are reports of a fire at one of those plants. obviously, just the video just pouring into our newsroom is pretty incredible stuff. >> let's go back out live to
anne makovec, standing by live at ocean beach with the very latest there. anne, good morning to you. >> reporter: 8:09. this is when it's supposed to come. it's supposed to hit at 8:08. it's looking very calm. so no news is good news. that's what they say, right? they are still waiting watching the ocean here. this is along the great highway, which is still closed down right now from point lobos to lake merced. we have been told a tsunami is imminent here two to three feet high as far as predictions. some coastal flooding a possibility. but as you can see out there we even have a couple of people walking the beach. there's been no even higher tide from what we could see with the naked eye at least. no bizarre wave patterns and that's kind of what we have been looking for because they say if you see unusual waves or water level rising and receding you only have a few minutes before the tsunami is going to hit but we have seen nothing of
the sort. police still wanting people to keep away from the area. no evacuations here in the sunset or richmond districts, but police are advising people stay off the great highway, away from the beaches. a lot of people, though, not heeding that warning. it's an eerie sense of calm because nobody is quite sure if the danger is over. a tsunami of three feet could cause some damage. it could have caused some damage. but it could i suppose still cause some damage if it does end up materializing. just flooding in some of the low coastal areas or just the general beating of the waves coming in and out, this kind of energy this surge coming in and out. but as far as what i can see right now no trouble to report. >> pretty out there, too. >> reporter: it is. it's a nice morning to be standing here. >> i know. all right. very good. anne makovec is live at ocean beach. we are going to go down to los angeles now. we have some live pictures off
the coast of l.a. they too at least down to point conception a little south of santa barbara, they are on a tsunami watch, as well. but like we said to anne, it looks gorgeous. >> it does. it looks calm so far. so we are going to check with lawrence in a little bit and see what the very latest is. but first we want to go to our reporter christin ayers who is live in pacifica all morning where we know there were looky- loos with cameras out there. what's the mood like out there right now, christin? >> reporter: you just sort of are watching and waiting, you're right, everybody out there is out with cameras, binoculars trying to see any action on the beach. some people have even started to sort of venture down to the beach to see whether or not it is safe enough. but you can see we have camcorders out here, long lens cameras, people with their families to take a look at what's going on out at the beach. if you look over here at the coast, you can see that it is low tide here and it looks -- seems to look like low tide out
here. we are seeing right here -- we have police pulling over right now and just having a chat with someone who had ventured down to the beach to take some pictures earlier. so police still keeping a watchful eye to make sure that these beaches are clear and it looks like for the most part people are heeding the warnings. police were sort of combing the beach up and down earlier today just to try and make sure no one was out there. we talked to a surfer earlier who was considering trying to take some of these waves as the warning was coming in but the authorities clearly not wanting people to get too close to the water. it really is a waiting game as i said at this point. no one seems to really know whether or not we'll see any of those two to three-foot wave surges that we have heard about. evacuations have been put in effect in the area since early this morning and some evacuees have ventured out with
families, dogs and videocameras just to try and get a look at what it is they are being evacuated for. three waves are small, but nothing different from an ordinary day on highway 1. people watching, waiting to see if there will be any activity here on the coast to take a look at, elizabeth. >> yeah. and obviously still some potential danger because police are not letting people through, right? >> reporter: absolutely. if you walk around town you can see digital signs that warn of evacuations earlier today and also signs posted throughout pointing out where the evacuation route is. and authorities have been sort of, you know, everybody from sheriff's deputies to police have been just kind of coming to these areas and talking to people. we have actually seen an
officer come by at least four or five times over a couple of hours so they certainly are keeping an eye out and just trying to make sure that even if it's just as a precaution, that people stay away from those low-lying areas. >> it looks like no sense of panic and folks are just kind of taking it all in like a sporting event almost. huh? >> reporter: it's definitely turned into sort of a spectator sporting event i would most definitely say that. i think people are having fun with it at this point and because we are on higher ground right now, this is an area that is safe. it's a safe spot to sort of stand and take in the view. >> okay. and a beautiful view at that. christin ayers live at pacifica, thanks. let's go right to lawrence. he has been monitoring this potential tsunami. it's 8:15. 8:08 was the deadline. >> these times can vary when we are talking about these tsunamis. it's just a forecast so we are watching for the possible wave time. it came onshore a little later in parts of northern
california. in southern california they are not worried. they are on the waivers on the waters and enjoying the waves out there now. they don't have the tsunami to worry about, but later on this morning they too are also going to be worrying about that. but we have been waiting patiently and watching and really hoping that this does not turn out to be anything larger than that was forecast. there's always a concern. we don't get these very often on the california coastline. but boy, they can do a lot of damage in a hurry, folks you have not just a typical wave coming ashore. we are talking about a two to three-plus-foot wave but it's all that energy. this is coming all the way from japan, made its way across the entire pacific and all the way to california overnight. and once that gets here, it starts to get some lift from some of the topography under water from some of the land and once it gets the lift it focuses that energy and makes its way onshore.
it can be a dangerous situation. we have been watching for water to recede. that's typical of a tsunami. once it recedes, then water suddenly rushes back onshore. that's when people get hurt or killed. people see the water and never saw it go out this far and all of a sudden the tsunami surges onshore. looks all right right now. it hasn't been that large. but we are still waiting. once this thing comes onshore we are expecting this to stay for about the next oh, five to 15 minutes where you can see successive waves come onshore. one can be larger than the other. we have had a lot of e-mails from folks that live inside the bay from foster city, from redwood city shores, wondering if they might be affected by the tsunami. inside the bay is affected because it would have to shoot the gap at the golden gate bridge to affect you, but at the immediate coast there are concerns. crescent city just after 7:00, golden gate 8:08. so far nothing too bad.
santa barbara about 8:17. we have asked people to move to higher ground. that's been a great idea. of course you always want to prepare for the worst in this type of situation. if you don't have people evacuate and something happens, it can be devastating. so we are expecting over the next hour or so we'll be able to wind this down. we are keeping our fingers crossed that it's not going to be that severe. warnings continuing until 9:00 all the way from washington down to point conception. we are watching areas especially low-lying areas at the coastline ocean beach, watching for the possibility of high tides there. we are also looking in places like linda mar, a lot of the people have evacuated out of linda mar valley. this place in particular right in this area very low. used to be and he is chew wary in here. so the water if it breaches the berm, it's trouble but it hasn't done it. that's fantastic.
>> we have a member of the crescent city city council. the "associated press" said the first wave hit the california shoreline there. what can you tell us, richard, up your way? >> we have been waiting for the surge to come in. it was supposed to hit us an hour ago but i just found out from the office of emergency services, i have a direct line there, the harbor, the water is starting to recede from our crescent city harbor at this minute. >> now, was there a surge? was there a big wave or has it been hard to tell one way or the other? >> it hasn't -- it's just starting now. it's just starting now. the water is starting to recede right now. >> so then you will expect that to recede and then come back and then hit the shore? >> we are expecting a 7-foot surge. that's what the weather service tells us. >> wow. >> really. did you just get that word? when did you hear about that? >> we have been -- for the last four hours the national weather service has those emergency broadcasts to our center saying they expect a 7- foot surge in the crescent city
area. >> earlier we have been talking about bart is our local mass transit out here and they had been saying they were watching the situation and the waves in crescent city. if they were bigger than 10 feet they were talking about potentially shutting down a portion of our bart lines out here but it sounds like 7 feet is the latest estimate? >> right. the latest is 7 feet from the national weather service. and we should know in a little while if that's true. >> richard, what would a 7-foot wave tsunami do to your city? >> it would cause significant damage to the harbor. we have evacuated our town. the water would come up and cover u.s. highway 101. it would go into our downtown area a little bit and may damage some commercial buildings. but they have all been evacuated. the town is sealed. >> have the people been very cooperative up there? i mean, you guys are usually because you're the furthest to the west of california, if something is coming, you're the first to get hit. >> reporter: right. we practice this several times
a year. the evacuation as orderly. people are at the local high school being cared for by the red cross. >> thank you, richard, a city council member up in the city of crescent city. appreciate your insights. we wish you all the best. >> thank you very much. >> let's go to len ramirez. he is live for us in santa cruz. we understand -- hi, len. you just got there. where are you exactly in santa cruz right now? >> reporter: well, right now i'm on westcliffe drive overlooking the boardwalk and i can tell you we have seen some unusual activity here. when i arrived, the -- it looked like a normal tide. then a few minutes later, there was -- the tide just really got sucked out to sea exposing rocks and a surfing area where people here say they have never seen that before. it lasted about maybe five minutes. and then the -- just now it's starting to move back again. so it's like the water pulled back, exposing a lot of stuff that, you know, surfers were
actually on the water here and then couple of them got out and walked to shore. if you can believe that. water that they were surfing on had gotten shallow enough for them to walk out. and then now it's coming back again. so we are seeing maybe the first indications of a surge here in santa cruz. there's probably about, you know, thousands of, you know, if i can guesstimate right now, of people lining the cliffs watching this, looking, pointing, people with binoculars looking out to sea to see if it's coming. i see some boats coming out of the santa cruz harbor going out to sea in case there is a surge there and ships can get damaged. so a lot of activity is happening. this thing does seem to be real here in santa cruz. >> and len, there was an evacuation advisory issued in the santa cruz area. maybe about an hour ago as you were going over 17. i assuming that's the way it came in. were you noticing a lot of traffic heading to higher ground or getting out of the
glare. >> absolutely. it was like watching a disaster movie. i had to think, am i watching a movie on the? there was a lot of traffic on highway 17 going up. so it seemed to me a little overkill but there were hundreds of people parked at the turnout areas right there at the top of the summit. almost a party atmosphere as i drove past them and to come into town here. >> you know, we thought for a while there maybe the worst had passed but are people getting nervous where you are? >> reporter: yeah. people are getting a little bit nervous a little more concerned. the people that i have been around right now have been watching it and have been around some people who have lived here for quite some time. they have never seen anything like this before. these are people who, you know, are out at the coast walking just about every day. so very unusual situation here. the tides now look like they
have gone back up a little bit. so the great pulling back to the water and then it's coming back slowly right now. >> len, we know surfers are an odd bunch. they like to go where the waves are. are there actually some guys out on the water right now? >> reporter: yeah, from where i'm standing right now, i count maybe 6, 7 people in the water. they were quite a bit more earlier. there are project half a dozen surfers out in the water now at cowels beach. >> not a good idea. >> len ramirez live four us this morning in santa cruz. thank you. >> let's go to the "eye on the
bay" director. we have him live there. we have a face with the voice. how are things up on the hill, jame reid? >> phoners all of morning and we got our truck set up. the people are still out here by the thousands. when we first came up here about 4:30 this morning, you know, there was there were quite a few cars coming up and over highway 92. and within minutes, people were flooded in here. the ridge up here would actually goes up skyline boulevard. , people have said there are cars three or four miles down. the families have been out here. earlier families were in blanket, all huddled together some in the cars. 40 people were huddled together. so it's been quite a sight and
people are sticking it out here. i have a resident of half moon bay how did you wake up this morning? is it. >> i got a phone call from coworker who said there's been a tsunami warning and i just grabbed the cat and dog and headed to higher ground. >> were you surprised to see when you got up here? >> i was amazed, yeah. bumper to bumper traffic up to 92. finding a place to park wasn't easy but we are here and hopefully we get to go back gown the hill soon. >> you were telling me the tsunami warning system, there's been some signs and things put in place down in half moon bay in the last couple years. it's finally up. finally in place , huh? >> yeah. it's been a couple years, but there are signs directing people basically where to head to higher ground, you know, highway 92. so i didn't hear any sirens but, you know, there are signs saying, you know, this is a
tsunami area and be aware. >> did you ever think the day would come? >> not really. >> but we live right on the water a it's just a matter of time to head to higher ground if there is a tsunami warning. >> so the big thing, the traffic going back, it's going to be like going to the half moon bay pumpkin festival. >> pretty much. it's going to be bumper to bumper probably in both directions probably, you know. so... >> jeff, thanks very much. you know, as far as this goes, people are sticking it out. thank god the sun came out because it's a lot warmer than it was at 4:30. >> james, what's next for you? are you going to ride up the storm and head back to pacifica? are you coming into work? >> well, you know, we have an "eye on the bay" episode to film today at a candy factory
over in hayward. so we are meeting brian hackney out there and let's see if mr. earthquake is doing his earthquake thing. >> he is working. >> i know. i was going to say. you're on the clock, my friend. well done. >> i am on the clock thank you. >> thank you, james. now we are going out to our other reporter christin ayers. she has been live in pacifica all morning where the beaches have been cleared and she has been out with all the looky- loos. they have their cameras ready. we had for a while thought maybe the worst had passed but then we talked to len in santa cruz and the water began to recede a little there so what's happening where you are in pacifica, christin? >> reporter: you know, we're actually seeing a bit of the same phenomenon out here. if you take a look back here, you can sort of see the waves have just started to come back now. but we saw a moment where the water really did recede in this very bizarre fashion and you can sort of see the outline here of where the water was earlier today where the sand just sort of saturated and then
where it is now. it's setback quite a few feet. and in fact just a few minutes ago it was setback several yards much further than that. maybe 50 or so yards back from where it was. so certainly that happening and people here sort of scratching their heads as we're all looking at this, trying to understand this phenomenon. we really haven't seen this out here and everyone is sort of holding their breath here wondering what's going to happen next. we have also seen people, if you can take a look here, you can see someone actually back out there on the beach every once in a while we tend to see someone inching back out to the beach because it appears to be a little safer now. we don't know whether indeed it is actually safer and we have a patrol car coming up over here and possibly keeping an eye out for people like this person who is walking a dog on the beach. so definitely not clear at this point whether or not it's safe to be out there. and we're all sort of waiting
in suspense right now wondering whether there really is anything to this phenomenon of this water receding and whether we will start to see some sort of action now. we have seen some riptides and some smaller waves nothing too serious at this point. but really it appears to be the same story, at the same time, all around the bay area, the waters appear to have receded in a short amount of time. i was out here doing a live shot of maybe 20 minutes ago i went inside the live truck for five minutes and when i came back out and was waved back out by my photographer, the water had receded many, many yards. and so just a bizarre phenomenon and some rocks covered by the water before were then exposed. so it's just something odd to look at. we are not sure whether that would actually -- again there are lots of people out here. they have their cameras, cell
phone cameras, binoculars, families, pets, i mean, they are all out here with their camcorders just kind of taking in the view and trying to see if anything will really happen. we are higher up so this is safe ground. this is where evacuees -- some evacuees have come. they are not able to return to their homes at this point so they are coming out here in a safe area to take in the view. >> all right, christin ayers live for us this morning in pacifica. lawrence said earlier this usually lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. >> where the tsunami sucks all the energy back and pushes everything forward. so it's acoming. it's acoming. so let's go to cassandra treasure-jones who joins us live from santa cruz county high above the pacific there. what can you tell us? >> reporter: just a few minutes ago we saw the waters recede and as you can see behind me they are receding once again very quickly within the paths five minutes they have almost completely receded. many residents very shocked. i'm going to pull in mike. you're a santa cruz native.
suv seen anything like this before? >> never. never seen this. no. this is mother nature at its best. i mean, this is awesome. hopefully, there will, you know, there won't be any injuries. but, you know, it's a great display of mother nature. i welcome it. i'm sorry there is devastation over site. it's a horrible thing. it's a reminder in the world today that there are bigger problems. >> many surfers jumping in not taking the warnings. we saw one walk in shallow water and everything and went right back into the water. are you a surfer? what do you think about this situation? >> i am a surfer. and what's unusual about this is as it takes many hours for a low tide or a high tide to come up and just to see this awesome display of the tide sucking out within minutes is truly awesome. and you don't see it too much. i'm happy to see it in my
lifetime. it's pretty cool. >> reporter: absolutely. as you can see behind us the tide really starting to suck out. you can see it's very much -- it's receding right now. earlier we -- it did come back up onshore but it's starting to recede once again and, of course, as we get more updates we'll let you know. but many people out here lots of spectators everybody very curious and many people very excited wanting to see some of these big waves. live in santa cruz, back to you guys. >> thank you, cassandra treasure-jones. i think the keyword there is awesome. mother nature, she is awesome indeed. and she is showing that to us right now. >> let's go right to lawrence. i know lawrence you have been monitoring this. this is crunch time. >> this is it right now. we are looking at it along the coastline where you see the waters receding. that's where a lot of people get hurt. they see those waters recede. they may have never seen that before. and they say, hey, i'm going to go out there and check it out. i have never seen the rocks out that far before. but then that surge comes back onshore. and it washes them away. so you still have to stay away from the water's edge, folks.
the warnings do not go down until 9:00. now, we had an interesting observation earlier a caller from crescent city. they said the waters had just begun to recede about 15 minutes prior. now this getting the waves before we -- now, they are getting the waves before we do. things may be moving more slowly that it's coming onshore more slowly than expected. so we are going to have to watch this for the next hour or so before we feel safe for people to go back home and back pout toward the water's edge. we have warnings in effect still all the way from washington down through eureka into point conception and, of course, in the bay area we have seen people evacuating from some of the coastal sections, stay away from the water's edge. i have seen some people out there by the beaches i can't believe it. so far there hasn't been a problem but again we are not done just yet. you may see that water pull out and come back in and say that's done. no. tidal waves or tsunamis are not like that. you will see a series of surges move onshore and the next ones will be stronger than the one
before that. in toward half moon bay and el granada. the good news they have a good clip here at half -- cliff at half moon bay that protects them. heel granada doesn't have the protection. we'll see watching surging back onshore in the next few minutes. we'll keep you updated here systems we can. >> we are going back to len ramirez. he is in santa cruz. >> take it away, len. last time we chatted with you about 10, 15 minutes ago you had that water being sucked back out of the bay. and now it's coming back in. >> reporter: exactly right. we have had that same action just a couple of times now. maybe a minute ago the water was receding. now it's coming up. this is very unusual
circumstance. you have surfers out here on cowels beach that are, and they got out and the water was knee high height. and so people are actually walking out of the water right now who were surfing the small waves that are here right now. so it's going out, coming back, and it seems to be a pattern repeating itself here in santa cruz right now. now, there's the -- waves that are coming in relatively small. they are just little almost like beach breakers right now. but we don't see anything, you know, major coming in here. but the circumstance of the waves the ocean basically pulling itself back and then coming back onshore as it is right now is very unusual circumstance. and something that a lot of people are out with cameras looking at and just wondering if it's going to be a major
surge when this thing gets finished. the cliffs are full of people right now. there are probably hundreds if not thousands of people out now kind of watching this. they are on cell phones, taking pictures, stuff like that. i would say the atmosphere is cautious. it's not exactly a party atmosphere or anything like that. but people are just very concerned about this. and, you know, they are hoping this is nothing major that it just turns out to be an unusual visual occurrence in terms of, you know, what you can see from the cliffs. >> it's crazy what we are seeing from chopper 5. have you ever seen anything like this len? >> reporter: no. no. i have been around the coast you know all my life here in the bay area. and i haven't seen the water this far back. i have talked to people who live here in santa cruz who walk the westcliffe drive every
day and they never saw this. so this may be a once-in-a- lifetime occurrence here in santa cruz. >> len, stay with us. we are going to bring lawrence in now. we have some great pictures from chopper 5. your getting a good feel for what's going on because it almost looks like high tide now but this is the tsunami i guess, right? >> that's right. we are supposed to be at low tide at .7 feet so a low tide but now we are seeing this surge from the tsunami apparently making its way onshore. and it is bringing with it some higher amounts of waves at the santa cruz area. we were looking at one forecast in rio del mar near santa cruz at about 5.7 feet. now, that was the forecast. and so these waves that continue to move onshore, they will move on for a while. then you think here it is, and then it starts to recede again and you think it's over. but that's not the case, folks. these come in a series of waves so once you see the waves move onshore once and recede that's not a good time to go out and check the coastline and pick up all the shells on the beach. we are not done.
then another wave begins to move back onshore and that could be even larger wave so it can be very, very dangerous. we have seen numerous people walking on the shoreline. that's not something you want to do during a tsunami. but we will keep watching this because very well we could see a few more of these waves moving onshore as we head through the next, oh, half hour or so as things are looking like they are continuing out there. it's amazing to hear some of the reports, the surfers 400 yards off the coast and they are suddenly standing up on that sand because the water has receded. that is just something, folks, that you don't see during a normal tide. so what we are seeing is some of the tsunami waves affecting the california coastline. it is too early to say the coast is clear just yet. we are seeing this happening now. stay away from the coast. i think we'll be able to give the all clear within the next hour. >> lawrence, how long does it take? 15 minutes or so? >> what's the worst danger that we are talking about? obviously right now? >> usually between about 5 and
15 minutes is your typical tsunami scenario. but that being said, we have had reports a little earlier in the show that they were just beginning to see the waters recede in crescent city. now, that gave me rise to think we may want to just hold on a little longer. we don't want to give the all clear and have people running back to the coastline and a larger wave moves on shore. so folks have doesn't right thing that have evacuated from the coast. enjoy it from a high point but don't go back just yet. give it some time here and shortly we should be able to say things are okay and let everybody go back home. >> there have been aftershocks you know, 8, 9, 10 aftershocks and they are not small, up to 6 and 7.0 on the richter scale. might we see more energy coming our way from those, as well? > >> reporter: that's a concern. if we do see some more up lift or downfall in the ocean waters beneath, because of some of the aftershocks, they surely can generate more tsunamis. so far we haven't seen that
although there have been some large aftershocks to about 7, a magnitude of 7. so yeah, we have had some large aftershocks and we are going to have to keep our eyes on that. this is just something we have watch out for along the california coastline. it happen very often but today is a very unusual day. >> i hear a lot of noise from the newsroom. are you watching video from chopper 5? >> i'm watching it from a safe vantage point. [ laughter ] >> you know, you watch, you sit there and talk about this stuff all day and this is really neat from a science background from the curiosity point but you have to be really safe in these kind of situations. you watch from safe point, be smart and then it goes by and you're safe to go home as long as it's safe. >> you can see some of the current going into the inner harbor there where a lot of the boats r it's really starting to pick up. >> it looks like it's surging onshore there, absolutely at this time. and that's the concern. i think we are looking at it right there, folks. your seeing the tsunami. and that's the concern.
these waves come across the ocean and they are screaming. they are going 500, 600 miles an hour. as fast as a commercial jet, even faster. and then hitting landfall so they are holding a huge amount of energy. so when they slam onshore, people are thinking, oh, it's only a 2- to 3-foot wave but they are coming on with a tremendous amount of energy and can knock boats out of moorings, can do damage in the harbors. if you have a low-lying home in the area you have to watch out for that. this is amazing video. you are watching a tsunami hitting i believe the santa cruz area right now. >> i don't know if it's a fisherman or what but you can see him running on the pier to batten down of the hatches so to speak. thank you, lawrence. we'll check in, in short order. but some great insight from there. we appreciate it. >> all right. let's go out to patrick montgomery. he is with the coast guard. good morning, patrick. >> good morning. >> we are watching some live
video right now from chopper 5 of this tsunami as it comes ashore. >> you can actually see does that look like a jet ski or perhaps a boat -- it's a jet ski that's probably off its mooring. it's starting to hit then, is it not? >> lieutenant? >> well, i can tell you that we are getting ready -- we have been ready for the last several hours to ensure that our boats and people are ready to respond to search and rescue cases in the area. >> where are you? >> myself, i am in alameda, california. which is the coast guard pacific area. >> are you guys on high alert up and down the coast right now? >> we are on high alert and we're advising the people also to be on high alert and to stay off the beaches, jetties and low-lying rock areas. >> really starting to see these waves in the last 15 minutes or so. when do you think -- is the worst danger right now? >> well, with the tsunami, it's very unpredictable and i can't really say when the worst danger is.
so because of that i ask that people to stay high and dry and to protect themselves and their property. >> have you had any rescue situations or problems thus far? >> as of right now, we have not had any search and rescue cases. but that does not mean we are not ready for it. >> one good thing about a tsunami, you certainly get a lot of warning. last night after this hit japan, were you immediately all hands on deck that coined of thing? >> the warning came out about 1 a.m., and me, myself, personally, i have been ready for it for the last nine hours. >> wow. it. >> okay. thank you, patrick montgomery, for joining us over the phone this morning with the coast guard. i guess we are going to go back to lawrence right now. a big day for weather geeks like you, lawrence, but obviously -- i know this is pretty exciting stuff for people really into weather but obviously there is still a real danger out there as well? >> there is an absolute danger. we are watching that tsunami coming onshore right now. if you look in the center of your screen, you can see a
whirlpool spinning around. that's something you don't see all the time. but all this energy has made its way from that 8.9 quake in japan earlier in the night. it has gone all the way across the pacific and now it is hitting the west coast. we have been watching some of the boats coming off their moorings. of course, the santa cruz area getting hit right now but this is going to be a series of waves that will continue to pummel the coastline. so no, this is a dangerous part of the tsunami. and it's going to continue now it looks like for some time. going to have to wait before you head back toward the coastline. all kinds of rocks exposed. we are seeing a good surge. >> it's floating out in the water from the surge that's come onshore. some of the projected surges near the santa cruz area were over 5 feet. so those waves are coming with a lot of energy.
it's not just your typical wave. but all that energy, all that water coming across the pacific at over 500 miles per hour. and then suddenly it reaches the coastline. so that energy is surging onshore carrying with it, well, you can see some of that debris in the form of boats. we have seen some ski boats out there moving on by. and, of course, this is a time you want to stay away from the water not go to it water even though it is something interesting. watch it right here on channel 5 and you will get the best look. >> lawrence, how lucky are we that this didn't occur during a high tide? >> absolutely. you know, if we could have had a high today that we are 6, 7 feet, which happens around the bay area, we could easily see a lot more flooding . we have been watching all morning long especially along the places like linda mar and pacifica, along ocean beach into half moon bay. if you had a high tide, a six and seven feet, and then you get a surge, a tsunami like this, another two feet on top of that then you get waves on top of that tsunami, you can kind of get an idea that could
have caused a lot bigger problems along the california coastline than it's already doing right now. and it looks like we are seeing damage as we speak. >> all right. lawrence, you continue to watch and we will check in in short order. some great insights from our weatherman who knows it all. >> the weather expert. >> you have to feel for him because i -- i have a lot of weather guy friends and they love it oh, my goodness, we have this huge storm coming in! but it is science at its best. mother nature doing her thing. >> this is some live pictures you're looking at from santa cruz county. we have been monitoring the situation really up and down the coastline through san francisco, near ocean beach. >> we snuck into crescent city. we are going back up that way now, a lieutenant from the humboldt bay coast. what can you tell us? >> how are you doing? >> we are good. how are you? >> i'm good. it's a coast guard helicopter
pilot in eureka and haven't seen anything, just waves came ashore in crescent city. it pulled the water backed and exposed about 1,000 feet of shoreline and then about five minutes ago i was told another wave passed 200-mile buoy and is in inbound and they anticipate that larger than the one earlier. >> this is kind of interesting because we have live pictures right now of santa cruz area, santa cruz counter, and we can actually see this water got sucked back and now it's coming in. it's moved some boats around, knocked some boats off the moorings. so it almost seems like it's hitting here before you. >> i would have to see the propagation charts to get a feel for that. it probably comes off the especially center of the earthquake and kind of a concentric way. so you might see a wave earlier later than us depending how
they are arriving but it's -- you know, the wave heights can vary from north to south just depends on the terrain and the bottom contours. >> the folks up in humboldt county are heeding the advice of the authorities up there and getting to higher ground? >> as far as i know. i know noaa has been putting people in the low-lying areas to evacuate. humboldt county is low-lying and crescent city area is also very susceptible to tsunamis so i think people are generally smart about this stuff around here and heading inland. >> all right. good ideas. >> all right. thank you so much. let's go back out to our reporter len ramirez standing by along the santa cruz coastline. what are people doing? >> reporter: right now, people are watching it. we have had, you know, the tide really rise since the last
time we talked. it went pretty much as high as the -- i guess you call it the moss line on the rocks under the cliff here, it went as high as that. so it really isn't into a danger zone yet. but it pulled back twice and now it's coming back up. and it looks like right now it may be peaking and a few minutes from now i'm sure it's probably going to suck back again. >> len, i don't want to interrupt. let me interrupt for a moment. you can't see these pictures but we have live pictures from chopper 5 of the inner harbor, i believe, where a lot of boats are docked and we are actually seeing the sinking of a rather large watercraft right now. can you see this? are you getting a feel fo that. >> reporter: i am probably a mile away from the harbor mouth itself and i did notice several boats exited the harbor maybe
about 30 minutes ago. and so, you know, those were i guess a couple of smart sailors. they got the indications that this was really on. and so i'm not surprised that there's some, you know, mishaps happening in the harbor there especially in the boats have been moored there. things tend to break when that happens. this is a real situation here. it's not a dangerous situation in terms of the water coming over any kind of sea walls or anything like that. >> stay or not phone, len. let's go back over to lawrence. we are watching some of these boats go through some of the harbor ways here underneath. look at that. incredible
pictures. >> you have boats and debris giving you an idea of the energy of the tsunami surging all the way across the pacific ocean from that 8.9 earthquake in japan. all the way across at over 500 miles per hour and slamming into the california coastline. it is sinking these boats, taking boats off their moorings. basically making a mess in santa cruz right now. currently it's receding pulling off the coastline. you might see water, too. it's very brown and very murky. i was just talking to my weather producer. all that energy coming across the pacific is churning up the water under the ground so what you don't see is what's going on under the surface and all that energy that's coming across starts to mingle with the coastline causing destruction now that we are seeing in the santa cruz area. one thing to be aware of and i keach talking about this, just because we see the tsunami come onshore and start to recede doesn't mean it's okay to go
back toward the coast there. very well could be more waves that are going to surge back onshore. they could be larger or smaller. we just don't know. it's best to play it safe and stay away. look at those folks running from the waves. i don't blame them. not a good place to be anywhere out near the coastline. >> the tsunami in japan last night and so quick to get here. >> what's fascinating is you think about the tsunami waves coming across the pacific. it's not the actual wave. that wave doesn't travel all the way from japan but it's the energy that's transferred from those waves all the way across. it's just like dropping a rock out in a lake. you will see the waves move out from that rock. it's not the waves themselves that are actually moving but the energy that's being transferred and when it hits
the coastline it has nowhere else to go. and the results sunk boats and a mess if those tsunamis are large enough. >> we are watching live pictures in santa cruz. what's happening in ocean beach? >> what's interesting is it depends where it's coming from and depends on the topography of the coastline where the tsunamis hit. if there is an area like this, like the santa cruz area, they have that nice little harbor. that harbor was built for a reason with nice protection but it also acts like a funnel when there is a tsunami. and literally it funnels that energy and shoots it through a small gap and so it increases that energy and so that's where you can see the damage. now, you're looking at ocean beach and it doesn't look like a lot is happening there but they are not feeling the same effects from the topography and the changes in the land mass around that area. so what turned out to be more of a dangerous situation in the santa cruz area in ocean beach doesn't seem to be that way at
all. >> so it wouldn't necessarily come to ocean beach next. they would be seeing what we are seeing in santa cruz potentially now? >> no. they would likely have already been hit by the tsunami but it affects them in a different way. again, that energy if the coast is kind of circular or funnel shaped it will actually focus that energy toward the middle of the area and that's you're seeing the boats having the trouble now in the santa cruz area. >> you're actually getting more of a surge because it has to squeeze into the area and, you know, lift it up and that's why a lot of these boats in the inner harbor are now having a lot of trouble? >> exactly. it's like squirting water through a small space or a large space. if you squirt it through a small space that stuff will come out fast and a larger space it will come out but slower. the same idea with the tsunami. your seeing that funneled energy making its way across the pacific and really those things are just screaming across the pacific once those earthquakes hit. then the result is if you get the right situation like we are seeing now in the santa cruz
area you get the damage. >> lawrence, nothing is an exact science here but are you surprised by what you're seeing right now? >> i don't know if i'm surprised. i'm kind of in awe. you sit back and you watch this stuff and it's amazing to see the amount of energy that can be produced. i watch this in weather all the time buy it's amazing to see what was when we see this stuff happen. you're wondering if it's going to happen. the whole newsroom has been abuzz this morning runningback and forth talking to me, is this really going to happen and remember, 8:08 came, nothing happened, what's going on, nothing happened. what's wrong with you, lawrence? [ laughter ] >> ait was over by then? >> then you have to wait. this is a very imprecise science and that's what happens sometimes. you have to wait for these things to put themselves together. we are looking toward santa cruz right now. you can see many boats there have been damaged or torn off their moorings. again, we are not done with the tsunami just yet. let's hold back from going back
toward the coastline. there could be more waves on the way. we'll keep you posted. >> aand lawrence, just what happens next? the potentially the water could recede again? that's the next danger? >> the water could recede once again. we could see automatic those rocks exposed along the coastline. >> this is fortunate this didn't come on at high tide. weep could have been looking at a 6-foot to 7-foot-high tied and couple that with a 2-foot to 3-foot-higher than that tsunami, the effects could have been devastating. >> a lot worse than knew.
>> these boat owners think they are sheltered in a cove but little did they know. a lot of the devastation at least in northern california right now has been in this little inner harbor in santa cruz. >> it's kind of the nature of the harbors where they put the harbors, they put them in those nice sheltered areas that tend to focus a lot of the energy from the tsunamis. we have seen that before in crescent city a lot of the damage done in the area is in some of the harbors and that's because of just the way they are located and the topography of the oceans surrounding the harbors. >> how long, what are we looking at, half hour, hour, an imperfect science? >> we thought it would be 8:08, water receding, shortly thereafter -- i would love to give uv a time to say it's okay to go back to the coast but seeing what we are seeing, we are actually seeing observations, we are seeing that the fact that we are looking at a tsunami right now, i think we just hold on and we just wait it out a little
longer and then as soon as things look better then we'll say it's okay to go back. >> i was just going to ask, when it high tide? should we worry about that? >> high tide, let me get the official high tide from my weather producer. billy poone has been working hard producing a lot of these graphics this morning and also been sitting here in awe watching this, as well. it looks like yeah, you know, we are going to see the waves continuing to go in and out with this tsunami over the next 30 minutes or so is what we are expecting but it's an imperfect science and so far it doesn't look like -- we have about -- the high tide is not going to come until about noon or so. and then by that time, this should be long gone by that period. >> lawrence, are you looking at chopper 5 right now? it looks like the water is pushing back a little right now? >> i'm watching it right now. it looks like it's receding again. but it's hard to know whether it's receding and just